The Checkatrade Trophy is a little bit irrelevant now because as Jay Cartwright would say, we've "Completed it mate". Still though, we've got to at least try and defend our title. Even if our group suggests we don't have a cats hell in chance we can't exactly give up the trophy without as much of a whimper.
Coventry City Starting XI:
Coventry City Substitutes:
Considering Doyle has just turned 36, it's a wonder why Robins didn't give the skipper a rest, instead he lined up with the reportedly unhappy Ben Stevenson. The defence on the other hand was a lot more inexperienced with Jamie Pearson making his debut alongside Dominic Hyam who also has very few professional appearances to his name. Still, the whole point of the competition is to give youth a chance.
You know the situation is bad when only the West Stand is open and most of the people at the match literally couldn't care less what the result was. This is perhaps a good thing as the first half was extremely woeful, ten times worse than Yeovil on Saturday. The midfield however was just as poor, simple passes were messed up regularly.
The out of position Dion Kelly-Evans looked uncomfortable up until his injury 20 minutes in, after that he hobbled about until half time where he was replaced by Callum Maycock. Ben Stevenson went down at the same time and went off before the break with Jordan Shipley coming on in his place. Surprisingly these were both welcome additions to the absolute shambles that was taking place.
On half an hour Dom Hyam gave the ball away in a compromising position of which Lenell John-Lewis and eventually Stefan Payne took advantage of by sticking it past Lee Burge. Our misery was then compiled when Arthur Gnahoua got lucky with Burge's save coming straight back out for him to double the lead.
It could have easily been 2-2 before half time, first Andreu went through on goal after stealing the ball but a last ditch tackle from Nsiala prevented him from scoring what looked an almost certain goal. Then just 2 minutes later Vincenti rose high to nod a cross just wide of the mark. A chance which really should have been taken. Instead we went in at the break looking lost and in need of guidance.
Half Time - Coventry City 0-2 Shrewsbury Town
I don't think anyone expected the guidance previously suggested to come from youth central midfielders Jordan Shipley and Callum Maycock. Shipley was even playing at left back, something which sounds crazy but he stepped up to the mark extremely well. We saw the benefits just 6 minutes after the restart when Jodi laid the ball off to Tony Andreu. One of the marquee signings of the summer struck beautifully into the top corner from 20 yards out.
Stuart Beavon came on after the goal to add some more attacking fire power to the comeback bid with Michael Doyle leaving the field. Just 10 minutes later McNulty was pulled down on the area with the opportunity to equalise. He netted his fourth penalty for the club (The fact the first 3 were in friendlies is irrelevant).
By this point Salop were beginning to lose the plot, Pearson nearly scored a debut goal just 4 minutes later but his effort was cleared off the line to the path of Shipley. His shot was stabbed into the side netting. Jamie Botlon was shown a straight red for going in two footed on Jodi Jones with 20 minutes left.
From this point it looked like a certainty that we would either steal a victory or take the game to penalties. This wasn't to be however, right at the death we gave away a free kick right outside the box. Joe Riley curled a beautiful effort into the top corner. I should've felt heartbroken that my team had conceded in the last minute, but to be honest I was just more happy it meant I got my score prediction correct.
Full Time - Coventry City 2-3 Shrewsbury Town
It was an admirable feat to come back from 2-0 down against a team in a higher division and look like winning. There is absolutely no shame in this defeat, whether we get out of the group or not it doesn't particularly matter. I think I speak for most people when I say I'd rather get promoted out of League Two.
Looking ahead to Saturday we have a crucial away tie at Chesterfield, we need to win to avoid slipping into obscurity. If we play how we did in the second half then we should be fine. But you can never see what's coming round the corner...
My Man of the Match - Jack Grimmer - The lad is just simply too good for us isn't he, in the first half he looked good in a bad side. In the second half he looked exceptional in a bad side. I'm not sure how a right back has managed to bag this award again. You kind of forget about that position but he's really making it his own, long may it continue.